Cross-border women traders earn Rwanda over $170 million

On 28 November 2017 at 01:59

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM ) says that following different measures to promote cross-border trading, women traders in the sector earn the country over $170 million yearly.

According to the Director General in charge of Trade at MINICOM Robert Opirah, women have been grouped in cooperatives and reduced informal trade which raised taxes that the country earns from their businesses.

Opirah was speaking Monday in a conference that brought together countries that share borders with Rwanda. The conference intended to assess challenges cross-border women traders face and measures to solve them.

“Cross-border business is being done by a big number of women, Rwanda earns over $170 million from them every year,” he explained.

He said that in a need to promote such businesses, the government of Rwanda has constructed three cross-border markets in Cyanika, Burera District; Kanyaru, Huye District and in Karongi District.

According to Opirah, they target to construct more markets on the borders of Rusumo, Kagitumba, Gatuna, Rusizi I&II and Nemba Border in Bugesera.

Speaking in the conference, the advisor to the minister in theDemocratic Republic of Congo’s Trade Ministry, Solange Umulisa said that unawareness in women engaged in the business is still a big challenge to their country.

“They are unaware of border posts services. Most of the time both countries sign agreements that seeks to promote their businesses but you find that they are unaware of them,” she said

She said that they will continue to explain more about Border Posts services so that they will continue to develop their businesses.

Though cross-border businesses among women on Rwanda’s side are commendable, the Executive Secretary of Pro-Femmes Twese Hamwe, an umbrella of Rwandan civil society organizations aiming at advancement of women status, peace building and sustainable development, Emma MarieBugingo said that women in the business still face some challenges.

“They claim disproportions of hours these border posts operate. Take an example, Rwanda can operate 24 hours but other countries may not be on the dot,” Bugingo said.